Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Proper English Empowers: A Response to Oliver Kamm

In his recent Wall Street Journal article “There is No Proper English,” British writer Oliver Kamm calls out grammar sticklers everywhere who would forbid poor souls from splitting their infinitives or using phrases like “between you and I.” He rails against “pedants” who believe that grammatical rules are like life rafts in the shipwreck of the English language, and that ending a sentence with a preposition is all that is needed to send the mother tongue to her watery grave. Language is what we make of it, Kamm argues: “If it is in general use, then that is what the language is.”

Friday, March 6, 2015

"Beyond Textbooks" at Millennial

Millennial, an online journal that highlights the ideas of young-ish Catholics (i.e. "millennials"), has been kind enough to publish my article "Beyond Textbooks: Awakening Students to the Transcendent." It's sort of a composite of some of my blog posts from the fall concerning textbooks and the need for a sense of mystery in the study of literature. Check out the site if you have a minute--it's an excellent collection of young Catholic voices from all different areas.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Reading Merton and Dante

Lent is a great time to read Dante. Against the backdrop of dust and detachment, the Inferno acquires a resonance it otherwise would not have, its tortures and punishments a little more relevant during our pre-Easter introspection. I’m reading it now with my senior classes, progressing slowly from Canto 1 to 34. It’s going slowly, as it should—we probably won’t finish until the end of March.